Monday, January 31, 2011


"So, now that you're getting your skinny on and feeling so much happier, have you thought about having family portraits done - with you in them? Who photographs the photographer? "

Late last year, a special lady sent me an e-mail and offered to take family portraits for us and I'm going to take her up on her offer. Thanks Leanne xx :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Getting my skinny on"

I borrowed that title from someone that e-mailed me (C :) and had to use it as it made me laugh so much :)

I've been walking every day again and I bought another pair of too small pants. (they can do up but they are just a liiiitttle too tight) It feels weird to be clothes shopping and learning what suits my now, different shaped body.
I feel a bit guilty for spending money on myself.....but I have to wear clothes LOL

Feeling good. BP is behaving nicely. Only a couple of anxiety twinges due to my hearing, but I'm trying to put it out of my mind until next week.

I'm naming this image, "Oh crap..all she wrote on the shopping list was Capsicum???" (thanks Mark :)


Friday, January 28, 2011

Sprouts and other stuff....

Mum got me hooked on these little suckers while we were down in Cabarita :)

They're a mixed container of bean spouts. (sold in the fruit and vege section)
You may remember that I like "crunch" in my salads and needed to cut back on the cashews. These have been doing the trick very nicely. Best of all, they're on my "free list" (foods that I can eat without limits) so I can eat as many as my heart desires :P

Special thanks to those who have taken the time to e-mail me privately or comment here for encouragement, guidance or even just a hey - I'm reading. I appreciate every message :) xx

I haven't weighed myself for a couple of days, but my clothes are feeling good and I've been exercising again.
I'm going to try my hardest to wait a whole week before I weigh-in again.

Since I've lost weight, there have been a lot of differences to my body.

My hair feels cleaner and healthier and thicker.

My skin has changed. It feels smoother and my pores aren't as noticeable.

Cycles. What's up with 28 day cycles? Ugh, I really could have done without this "benefit" :P
Not as much pain associated with periods and I'm regular to the day.

Eyes. The colour of my eyes seems brighter which is a strange one.

My veins. Okay, this is a weird one. I have lost weight before, but this is the first time, that I've been able to SEE my veins and FEEL my veins. You should see me checking out everyone else's veins to see what theirs look like :P
Now I get why they were having so much trouble getting blood from me or putting cannula's in, in the hospital.
Negative - I bruise realllly easily. I only have to bump a vein for it to bruise. GP and Vascular Specialist believe that's due to the medication I'm on.

They're the main ones. Of course, my energy levels have gone up, up, up which has been awesome.

My hearing has been concerning me a little this week. (I don't believe I got full hearing back after I left the hospital)
I've had some ringing in the ears, trouble hearing. Not sure which Doctor to approach yet.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Keeping motivated....

I hit a bit of a wall for a few days. Felt a bit "blah" and was feeling a little unloved at home.

I guess that's the problem with making GOALS (30kgs)
You need to have something in mind to follow it.

I kept to my eating habits no problem, but my exercise dropped off. No gains, but only a tiny loss this week. (200gms)

I spent some time yesterday thinking about who I am losing weight for. Not the Doctors, not Mark, not anyone......except ME!

*I* am feeling better than ever before.
*I* have so much energy.
*I* am feeling happy...the happiest I've felt in a long time. (could be the drugs :P )
*I* feel good about myself when I only have about three items of clothing in my wardrobe that fit me LOL
*I* can potentially be drug free this year

I wore size 24 pants yesterday. They were massive and baggy on me. I felt frumpy and uncomfortable with myself and probably looked ridiculous :P

Yesterday afternoon I went and bought myself a couple of new pair of shorts. One pair is currently too small.

New Goal - fit into those shorts comfortably and now I'm aiming for 40 KGS.

I went for a good walk last night :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CT results....


Lymph nodes have decreased in size and nothing else of concern to note. Phew.

(enlarged lymph nodes at the time were most likely the lingering effect of the "flu" or whatever it was when everything first happened)

A photo taken today. Will have to keep looking at this when I don't feel like I can see much difference. Still a way to go, but I'm on the road....

I've had a few messages from lovely people saying that *I* am inspiring them. ME. I can't even fathom that.
Thank you so much for your kind words xx

I had some more I wanted to say, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Work calls.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I did it, I did it....

taken by Dad on my birthday at Cabarita (16th Jan, 2011)

I finally hit the elusive 30kg mark! As of this morning.....

30.2 kgs lost ! (in 7 months)


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Make sure you start at the end post'll make more sense that way LOL
(look over to the right - it's titled "THE 1ST POST. Where to begin...."
and then you'll be able to click on each consecutive post (the one above) to read them in order)


Weight has remained the same - 29.6 kg loss. (break of routine from holidays maybe? No gain, so that's the main thing :)

Huge afternoon yesterday with another appointment at the Hospital as well as my usual double appointment with my GP. Came home and fell into bed - was so tired.

I had to see the Hypertension Specialist.....and I had to take the three boys with me. Even I can appreciate the ridiculousness of that situation LOL They surprised me and were very well behaved. (we were prepared with books and snacks and pens and paper) My BP was nice and low for the appointment, which was good :)

I have lost 15kgs since I last saw him three months ago - 5 kgs per month. A nice steady number and they were very impressed. He has predicted that I'll be off both of my Blood Pressure medications in 6 months time if I keep going the way I am. Wow, hard to even imagine.

Things were good at the GP - just maintaining everything for the moment. No result for the CT neck/chest yet (grrr) but she has promised to chase it up today. (the test was ordered by my Vascular Specialist, so we need to follow the paper trail)
I need to have a Renal Ultrasound before my next appointment.....but I'll worry about that when the kids are back at school :)

I think I have confused some people when I talk about wraps LOL
I'm actually eating TORTILLA's the most.
Here's my favourite brand....

I buy the smaller size ones. (If I buy the large, I definitely only have 1/day)
I love these as they're quite moist and thick.
I sometimes buy "wraps" - flat, rectangle types, but they're usually really dry and I don't like them as much.

I try not to get caught up in the KJ / calorie count of things - I just eat in moderation.

Although, I grabbed some yoghurts recently - the packaging was deceiving. It was similar in design to the diet yoghurts I normally buy. They were *delicious* LOL (that should have been my first clue) When I was back at the store with Peta on the weekend, we compared them to the diet yoghurts - 4 x the KJ count!!!!! Oops! :)

I spent 4 days with my family at the beach last weekend and it was nice to mix up my exercise a little. I did laps in Peta's pool a couple of times - it felt wonderful afterwards. I don't think I've been in a pool in.....20 years? I think I might check out the Aquatic Centre near school when school starts again.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Dinner last night....

I adapted this recipe...

I've found lamb mince to be quite fatty though and haven't been able to find a lean version anywhere?

We loved them with the lamb mince, but this time I just used 5 star beef mince instead - they were delicious :)

BP - 100/62 - bordering on low, hmmm. Feeling okay (no dizziness) so will see how it goes tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Testing has begun again....

This post may be a jumble of thoughts - lots going on inside my head at the moment. (I'm sure I'm not the only one)

Weight loss - 29.6 kgs (so, so close - 30kgs was a goal, so it's important for me to get there.)
I have a Doctor's appointment and weigh in next week, so I'm certain that I'll be able to reach it by then - yay.

BP - holding steady at 111/73. At it's worst it was 210/110. Before July, it was in the vicinity of 165/95....with medication. I've since been told by my specialists that this is NOT an acceptable BP while on medication and my old GP should have done more. I had no idea. I blindly trusted that all was okay.

Exercise - as you all know, things have been chaos around here with the raining and flooding.
I haven't had the chance to do any exercise...or so I thought. I've been constantly sweeping / vacuuming water under our house for the last week or so. It takes about an hour to cover the flooded area.....and within a couple of hours the water is back again, so the boys and I have been doing this many times during the day. (Mark takes over at night) I lost 1.2kgs this week, so it must have counted for something :)

Appointments - CT Scan yesterday. The last MRI I had showed enlarged Lymph nodes in my chest (just something else to worry about, sigh) so the CT scan was a follow up to see what those Lymph nodes are doing.

Do you believe that people come into your life for a reason? Due to the PTSD, I have major anxiety associated with any sort of testing etc. I've been on a type of anti-anxiety medication for two months now and it's working well.

When I showed up for the CT scan yesterday, they took me out the back, asked me to change into a gown and told me I would be cannulated.
Hang on? I wasn't prepared for that. I had been psyching myself up the CT scan, never imaging that I would need to have Contrast injected into my veins. This was too much like the MRI's :( I had to sign permission forms, we talked about side affects. I started to struggle.

An older man came out from his CT scan and sat beside me. Whether it was the look on my face or just his intuition, he calmly said to "ah, this is nothing! You won't feel a thing and it will be over in minutes. I've had tonnes of these."
He was a straight shooter. Possibly a country boy :) He showed me his cannula and we started talking about veins LOL
I told him I'd recently lost a lot of weight (I don't normally tell total strangers that sort of thing LOL)....and he told me he had too. He told me his starting weight.......and it was the same as mine. How strange is that?!? He repeated it a couple more times for emphasis and shook his head as though he couldn't believe it. I know that feeling.
They called me in and I gave that man the most heartfelt THANK YOU I have ever given anyone.

He was right. It was over in minutes. I didn't feel a thing and I walked home from the hospital afterwards.


Monday, January 10, 2011


Thanks for all of your advice re: exercising.

With all of the rain, I'm feeling a little stir-crazy since I haven't been able to walk like I normally do. I've warned Kaden and Blake that we're walking today in the rain :P

Too nervous to run on the stairs or jump on the trampoline at the moment - worried I'll slip and break my neck LOL

I'm not allowed to do anything too strenuous yet - it will be a group decision from all of my doctors if I want to increase, but I'm happy with how things are progressing for now anyway.

Also, re: the vase drinking glasses. I measured the quantity of liquid they hold out of curiosity - 600ml LOL

Sunday, January 9, 2011

weighing in

Thought I'd answer questions within the posts....makes it easier (and maybe helpful) for everyone else to see them too.

"Do you need to be weighing in EVERY day? That would do my head in..."

NO! Definitely not - in fact I strongly discourage it LOL Once a week is heaps. Once you've been doing it for months you'll see trends too. (bloating/weight gain around ovulation, just before period etc)

I do take my Blood Pressure every day.

Is it a vase?

This photo is to show you the glasses that Mark bought me LOL
I hate drinking out of plastic cups and all of our larger size glasses seem to have broken.
I sent him on a mission to buy me some large glasses and this is what he came home with :)
(If it weren't for the fact they were in a box of 6 and said clearly on the side "drinking glasses" I would have sworn it's a vase :)

They seem to be doing the trick. I fill it when I sit down at my desk and keep drinking from it whenever I think of it. I'm drinking way more water than I normally would.
(diet cordial in the photo)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dinner tonight...

Bed of mixed green leaves, with same grated carrot and beetroot throughout.
(It was one of those package mixes in the fruit section)
Tomato, Cucumber, Capsicum, Onion. A very small amount of cashews for some crunch.
Oven baked chicken skewers. Plenty of cracked pepper.
Looking at it, I think I overdid the chicken, but haven't had any other protein (eggs or meat) today, so should be okay.
My dietician is trying to steer me away from the cashews (love them in salads) and has suggest I toast up some slivered almonds. (Are they sold just near the sultanas etc?)

Eating Plan

This is the Eating Plan that was given to me by the Endocrine Dietician at the PA hospital. (sorry bad photos - will scan when I'm set up back downstairs in my studio)
I was already doing things my own way by the time I saw the dietician, but I did find the serving sizes helpful.

You should be able to click on them to view larger.....


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Self Portrait

Who knew it is ridiculously hard to take a self portrait? LOL Might have to dig out the Compact Camera (and get a full length mirror :)
This was the best of a very bad lot.
I bought this shirt when it was too small, hoping I would fit into it by Christmas Day. I did :)

I have my measurements written down here somewhere from pre-July, so when I can find a tape measure I'll do a comparison.

I'd love to tone down my arms :( Anyone have any suggestions on how to work on your upper arms?

In a nutshell....

I don't I'll ever be ready to write about the hospital experience. I felt too much, saw too much, feared too much.

Here's an excerpt from my Photography Blog in August 2010....

In early July, I was diagnosed with a Carotid Artery Dissection, which in turn caused Horners Syndrome. I’ve also been found to have BIH which may or may not be related to the Artery Dissection.

Obviously to get those diagnosis’s it involved many, many doctor/specialist appointments, 2 weeks in hospital, a lot of fear and a lot of tears. My vision was affected, I lost most of my hearing, I had 6 lumbar puncture attempts (traumatic) and then experienced an adverse reaction to the LP which forced me to remain flat for five days in a constant state of dizziness and nausea, not moving or able to tolerate light.

Physically, I am healing. I have to take things slow, rest plenty, no lifting. I’m on a lot of medication and am still undergoing a tonne of tests to determine WHY this happened in the first place. (All tests have been coming back with good results)
I’m seeing an awesome GP who is trying to keep me (hopefully) sane through all of this. Emotionally I am a wreck. (hard for me to admit that)

As I typed that post on my blog, tears were streaming down my face. That same afternoon I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

We will never have a definite answer as to WHY the Dissection happened, but latest test results have shown no more evidence of dissection (yay). To put it into simple terms - if the artery had burst (instead of only dissecting) I would have had an Aneurysm/Stroke. The Horners Syndrome is most likely not reversible. (My pupils are still uneven, but the difference is mainly noticeable to myself)
The BIH (swelling of the brain) was definitely caused by my weight. It has reduced over time, but is still evident for now.

All I can do is make myself as strong as I can. (physically and mentally)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Breakfast today....

28.4 kgs lost. So close to 30kgs I can almost touch it :) BP 111/73 (great!)

Two eggs, scrambled with tomato, grated carrot, red onion (it's better than white) and a slice of ham. I had the sandwich press handy on the bench so I wrapped it in a herb and garlic wrap and then toasted it. BBQ sauce and pepper to taste.

One thing I learned from my dietician. I have a cheese obsession LOL (It's hereditary :P)
I was adding cheese to almost every meal in some form LOL
I've cut waaaay back on the cheese. It was mostly habit for me to throw it into mashed potato, eggs, salads etc.
Most days I have no cheese anymore. If I really feel like adding it, I'll add a little sprinkle of low fat grated cheese, but for now I'm not missing it.

I've been on a no-salt diet for 6 months. I don't add salt to anything I cook. I don't add salt afterwards at the table. I read labels carefully - especially things like gravy mixes, slow cooker mixes, oven mixes etc. I try to make those things from scratch when I can, but do still use them on occasion.

For some STUPID reason I ordered a meal that was drowning in Soy Sauce. Funny, in all of the appointments I've had with BP clinics, dietitians etc no one has ever mentioned Soy Sauce to me. My body rejected the soy sauce in the worst possible way. My first clue was my heart beat/pulse. Within an hour of eating, it was bouncing around all over the place. (Like I used to get from too much caffeine) My next clue was the stomach cramps which had me racing to the toilet. That's as much detail as I'll go into for you all LOL It lasted two days and I am only starting to feel a little human again today.

I told Mum and Peta that I could market my Soy Sauce diet to a trashy magazine - very effective for weight loss....1.2kgs in 2 days - oops!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The future....

I've still got plenty of weight to lose. My ideal weight is something like 65kg LOL I think I was that weight sometime in Primary School :)

Fear keeps me motivated no doubt. The sheer terror of what I went through is never far from my mind every single day.
I have a lot of people I have to answer to as well....

Vascular Cardiologist
Blood Pressure Specialist
My extremely thorough GP.

Since July, I've had at least one.appointment.per.week at the PA or the GP or various other testing places around Brisbane. Usually two, sometimes three in the one day. It has been physically and emotionally draining.

Only time will tell if this is a for-life change....but it sure feels that way to me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Losing the weight....

There's no drug.
There's no milkshake. About 4 years ago I lost 40kg's on Optifast. It took me about a year.
Guess what. I gained it all back. I had made no lifestyle changes.

There's no surgery (even though I was told to).

No shortcuts.
I've tried Jenny Craig, I've tried Weight Watchers, I've tried Optisfast. This time it's different.

It's been simple.

Remove garbage 100% from my diet. (takeaway, fried foods, chocolate, biscuits, ice-cream etc)

Eat 5 meals per day. No exceptions. I don't allow myself to get so hungry that I eat anything in sight or eat anything for convenience.

I have dramatically reduced the amount of Carbs that I eat. I rarely eat any bread and I don't miss it at all.
If I feel like a "sandwich" type meal I'll wrap my filling in a wrap. There are some delicious, flavoured ones on the market, so look around. (Herb & Garlic etc)

I don't eat past 6.30pm at night. (not always possible, but I try to maintain this as much as I can.)

Get my body moving. For the first 4 months, all I did was walk. Every second day or so. 20 minutes at a time.
I slowly began increasing the amount of exercising I do. I've lengthened the distance and try to go every day.
A few weeks ago I noticed that my weight had started to plateau even though my diet hadn't changed.
I knew I needed to get my heart rate pumping, so I adding jogging up and down the stairs (It's hard!) and I lost 2kgs in the first week I tried that.
A couple of nights ago I jumped on the trampoline for the first time in YEARS. My goodness, that was a good workout. My heart was thumping, but it felt good. Afterwards I lay on the trampoline and just looked at the sky. It was a nice way to end the day.

Example of an average day.....

6.30am - Breakfast. Two eggs, scrambled with capsicum, onion, tomato etc. Sometimes a little bit of ham. Sometimes I wrap it. I try to limit the wraps to one per day.
OR something like a good breakfast cereal, topped with fresh fruit and trim milk.
Extra large cup of tea to down all of my medications.

10.30am - Morning Tea. Crackers and a light dip or tomato or just vegemite. I usually have another cup of Tea.

12.30pm - Lunch. Salad with whatever I can think of. Lettuce, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, etc etc. If I didn't have eggs for breakfast, I might add an egg to the salad. Likewise with the wrap. I like to add leftover bits of meat from the night before to the salad. Slices of lamb or slices of chicken etc. (all fat and skin trimmed)
If I'm low on salad ingredients, I try to keep a weight watchers meal in the freezer.

3.30pm. Afternoon Tea. Same as morning tea. I've been enjoying the diet yoghurts lately too. Some fruit if I haven't had any for breakfast or morning tea.

6.30pm. Dinner. A small portion of meat. (grilled or fried with spray on oil) I'll serve potatoes and pasta to everyone else. Sometimes I just skip it, otherwise I just give myself the tiniest amount. (1/4 cup?) Lots of vegetables - carrots, corn, peas, broccoli, zucchini etc etc. I try to keep fresh and frozen veges on hand at all times. I know green vegetables are a better choice than the others, to try to go heavy on those.

I drink plenty of water during the day. I need to for my medication, but it's habit now anyway.
I honestly don't feel "hungry" during the day. I know when it's time for me to eat (if that makes sense) as my body gets hungry at 10.30am, 12.30pm etc, but I have no desire to snack whatsoever.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How I'm doing it.....

I believe when you start losing weight, there is a period of adjustment where your stomach (appetite) has to adjust.

I can't tell you how many times I've started "eating healthy" only to give up four of five days in as I'm too hungry or too tired or too whatever....

I had that adjustment period taken away from me. I spent two weeks in the hospital and for one of those weeks, I didn't eat.
When I left the hospital, my appetite and stomach size had decreased, so if there is a blessing anywhere, I guess that is it.

To understand how I'm losing weight now, I guess you need to know how I was GAINING weight too.

I didn't exercise. Zero. The extent of my body movements was my sessions.
I would eat breakfast at 6.00am (non healthy) I would then have another breakfast at approx 9.00am. (something like scrambled eggs and toast with tea or a sweet muffin etc)
I would come home, sit in front of my computer and work all day until approx 2.00pm. By then, I would be starving.
I never kept any "lunch ingredients" in the house, so I grabbed whatever was quickest and closest before I would pick the kids up - takeaway. I would still be hungry at 4.00pm, so I would snack on whatever was handy and we would eat dinner at approx 6.30pm. I would then snack on something before bed. All this food in a short period of time, no exercise, then bed.

I wasn't enjoying food. I didn't even like food. How strange is that. I was eating because I was starving myself, but I received no joy from selecting food or making meals. My tastebuds had ceased to work.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1 of 2011

I'm finding it draining and painful to write the whole story from the start, so I'm giving that bit a break for a while and skipping to the current day.

I've been trying to find "before" photos and there is a deliberate lack of them. If I had no evidence of being overweight and I didn't have to see it, then I could ignore it.

(click to view larger if you dare, haha) Stills captured from a video. Easter 2010.

ANZAZ day 2010

This was taken just before Christmas (about 25kgs less from memory)

I've been obsessing about weight again and I've been weighing every day. I'm forcing myself to wait another week now before I weigh again.
The scales fluctuate between gains of 700gms, to losses of 600gms, to gains of 200gms each day.
It's doing my head in and affects my day (gains = sad, losses = happy)
This is what happened when I lost weight last time and I promised myself not to go down this path again. Something to bring up with my Psychologist perhaps.

So, day 1 of 2011.

27 kgs lost. I was squeezing into size 26 and am now wearing size 18/20. It took me a while, but I can finally start to see the difference.
I have a warped view of my own body. At my heaviest, I didn't believe I looked too overweight. Stupid I know. I was even a little shocked when people referred to my can they tell how overweight I am? I sounds bizarre to even write it. I think I was a reverse anorexic :)
I never looked at myself in the mirror, I refused to have my photo taken, whenever I needed clothes I automatically looked straight for the absolute biggest size and prayed that it would cover me. Health-wise, I could feel it for sure. I was tired, tired, tired all of the time.
I can remember standing at the bottom of the stairs at Luna Park, Sydney (June 2010) and looking at them in dismay. I gave Mark my camera bag, told him to go ahead and I'd meet him at the top. I struggled up those stairs, my breathing was labouring heavily, my legs felt like jelly and I clutched the sides and pulled myself up. My chest actually ached when I reached the top and I wondered if I would have a heart attack. When we flew home the sides of the seat were literally digging in to me and I had to contort my body to do up the seatbelt and I spent the entire flight with it strangling me. What was I doing to myself :(

New me. I'm tempted to fly back to Sydney and run up those stairs just because I know I could now :)

The bit where my life changes forever...

It was Sunday by this stage, so my normal Doctor's surgery still wasn't open. The severe pain in my ear/jaw had actually eased dramatically and was barely noticeable anymore.
After a family pow-wow (you'll get that if you know my family :) it was decided that I should go the hospital due to my eyes. (let's call it LH)
I went first to the after hours clinic at LH, prepared to wait hours, but was lucky enough to been seen almost straight away. (luck will be a common trend as you will see as the whole story unfolds)
The Doctor looked into my eyes and his expression worried me. I gave him a run-down of the past two weeks and I asked if he would take my blood pressure.
He tried the first machine. ERROR
He tried again. ERROR
He went to the next room and retrieved another machine. ERROR
He tried again. ERROR
I could see my arm bruising before my eyes because of the pressure of the cuff.
He went for a walk to find a manual blood-pressure machine and we both sat quietly while he manually pumped the pump and listened through his stethoscope.
"Do you have anyone with you?" No.
"Do you feel okay to walk next door" Um, yes.
"You need to go to the Emergency Room right now. Your blood pressure is 210/120, it's dangerously high. The machines were sending back errors as they can't read a blood pressure that high."

I walked the short distance to the Emergency Room, sent my family a group text and walked into the completely packed waiting room. The Clinic had given me a letter to give to the Receptionist. She took me straight through to the back room and I willed my heart to stop beating so darn fast. They tried to take my blood pressure again (more errors) and I heard the head doctor say "put her on a bed now."
I was at the LH for hours. They went over my history, including what had happened in the previous two weeks. Mum arrived to sit beside my bed and calm me down. They took bloods, they took urine, the performed lots of eye tests in a dark room. My BP was slowly creeping down again. They could find nothing wrong. They sent me for a CT scan of my head, which came back clear. Mum and I could both tell that the Doctor treating me had NO clue what was wrong with me.
He suspected some sort of weird sinus condition, but wanted to perform a Lumbar Puncture to rule out anything bacterial.
I'd had enough by this stage. We knew he was clutching at straws. I had had a VERY bad experience at LH with Epidurals when I was pregnant with Kaden, so a Lum/P was the very last thing I wanted to go through. I declined treatment. He couldn't let me go without the Doctor in charge seeing me and I had to tell him myself that I was declining a Lum/P.
I disagreed with the diagnosis of Sinus and I wanted to go home and see my Optometrist first thing in the morning. They let me go.


THE 1ST POST - Where to begin...

Late June / early July 2010.

Day 1.
I came down with a cold. Not just any cold. This was unlike anything I'd ever had before. My chest felt like a brick was sitting on it, I had pulled all the muscles in my back from coughing. My entire body from my hair to my toenails ached.
I believed I had a severe case of Bronchitis (I've had it several times in the past) so I booked an appointment to see a "Medical Centre" Doctor for a prescription. At this stage, we had no real family doctor - there had never been the need. I had a local surgery that I visited to have my Blood Pressure prescription filled - I usually saw whatever Doctor was on.
The Dr at the Medical Centre disagreed with my own diagnosis and declared that I had a "very bad cold" and sent me home with instructions to take lots of Panadol and Cold and Flu tablets. (he wrote down the specific type to get)
He knew of my history of high blood pressure, but he told me they would be fine to take as it wasn't for the long term. *note - Dr did not take my Blood Pressure at this appointment. Mistake # 1.

Day 3. I was on a downhill spiral beyond my control. I remember crawling into bed and Mark piled quilt after quilt on top of me and I still had out of control shivering. A short time later I was ripping off the quilts and was burning up. I tossed up whether to go to hospital (felt silly since it was "just a cold") My back and ribs were aching like nothing I'd ever experienced. We jumped on Facebook at some silly hour asking about after hours doctors and everyone quickly replied with suggestions. That contact with my friends (which I was so grateful for) made me decide to get a doctor out to the house. Incredibly, she wasn't far from the house and she was there within 1/2 hour. She believed that I had a full blown version of the "Flu". She gave me something stronger than Panadol so I could sleep, encouraged me to keep up with the Cold & Flu tablets and visit a GP the next day. *note - Dr did not take my Blood Pressure. Mistake # 2.

Days blurred together. I started the very slow process of recovery. I postponed sessions, but knew I had deadlines and a Wedding coming up very soon. I was so incredibly weak. I was stressed and pushing myself too hard. I wasn't eating or sleeping well and my weight was the worst it had ever been in my life.

Wedding Day. It was a long drive to the Sunshine Coast and I'd left it too late to find a substitute shooter.
I never imagined that I would STILL be so weak. The plan was to drive myself and Mark would stay home with the kids. I would stop at Caloundra for the night on the way home and make the rest of the journey the next day.
I stayed in bed as long as possible and almost collapsed when I showered. I was sooo tired.
My cough was terrible and would send me into spasms that would send me running to the toilet just in case I would throw up.
We scrambled to make a plan B. There was no way I could drive. We had to drop the littlest children with my Dad and the bigger boys would come with us.
We called into the Pharmacy when we left as I had run out of the Cold and Flu tablets.

The Pharmacist was astounded that I had been taking the Cold and Flu tablets with my history of high BP. She strongly, strongly recommended that I don't take anymore and she gave me something mild to help control my coughing. I believe this Pharmacist saved my life.

I slept the entire journey and to this day I still don't know how I photographed that Wedding.
We drove home to Brisbane and spent a couple of days home in Brisbane before we drove back up to Caloundra for a holiday. I was still working too hard, not eating right and not looking after myself. I drove to Brisbane and back for a session and back again to assist at a Wedding. I was pushing myself too hard when I should have been resting. Physically I felt okay during the Wedding, I was looking forward to driving back to Caloundra afterwards for a family dinner.

When I arrived at Dinner I was overcome with a one-sided headache. The pain was intense. I couldn't work out if it was my jaw, my teeth, my ear, below my ear. Just a horrible, horrible headache? I left dinner quickly and sent Mark out to find a late night Pharmacy - I told him "Get the strongest pain killer they will give you" Mum found me out a heat pack and I spent the entire night rolling on the bed in pain, counting down the hours until the next pain killer (even though they didn't help) and re-heating the heat pack over and over.

I didn't sleep the entire night and by sunrise I was sitting at the kitchen table sobbing in pain. It was a Sunday. We were away from home and had no clue where to get Medical help. I dressed and Mark and I left to find a Doctor. I suspected a middle ear infection (I've also had lots of those in the past) as the pain seem to radiate from below my ear, but was affecting the entire right side of my face. We sat in the after hours doctors for hours. I dozed and was actually quite groggy from the pain killers.
We were finally called in to see the Dr - she looked in my ears - declared them to be clear and diagnosed
I specifically told her about my High Blood Pressure and she prescribed a drug to help with the TMJ. *note - Doctor did not take my BP at this appointment. Mistake # 3.

I took two doses of the Drugs to help with TMJ. I spent the night on the couch watching a movie with all the family and as I was watching I noticed the subtitles were a little hard to read. I had left my reading glasses home in Brisbane, so put it down to that.
I later lay in bed and tried to read a book and again I found it hard to read.
For some reason, I decided to look in the mirror at my eyes and was frightened when I immediately saw that my pupils were unequal sizes. My left pupil was large and my right pupil was tiny. I stopped all medication and we drove home to Brisbane early the next morning.


View older posts up the top in the sidebar >>>>